12 charged in iTunes and Amazon song royalty fraud

So you and your mates are at the pub one night, and you hatch a brilliant plan to make some cash. You’re going to get some songs onto the iTunes Music Store, and then you’re going to buy your own songs. That way, you’ll get the money from the royalties that they pay out to the artist! Isn’t that brilliant?

I know what you’re thinking. That’s the dumbest idea you’ve ever heard. Well, it would be except if instead of using your own credit cards, you use stolen ones. That’s right. You’re going to steal credit card numbers and use them to buy your own songs on iTunes so that you can get the royalties. Cash back, right?

12 people in the UK have been charged with fraud and money laundering in this case. The group used a US based company to upload their songs to iTunes and Amazon, and using stolen credit cards to buy the tracks, received $300,000 in royalties from the companies. The group is believed to have perpetrated their acts of criminality between September 2008 and January 2009. The suspects range in age from 19 to 41, although most are in their twenties. They include a teacher, a hairdresser, a postal worker, a librarian, and a care worker.

No word yet as to whether this band of fraudsters was able to recoup their recording costs, or if they’ll be singing a different tune now that they’re under arrest.

Article via The Register
Photo via Andrew Rueda

Eugene Huo is a Juno Award winning recording engineer, video editor, photographer, and all around Mac geek. His first Mac experience was with the Macintosh Plus. You never forget your first. You can follow him on twitter @gamerparent, and check… Full Bio